Makerere University will have limited entrance and exit points after the construction of the new perimeter wall, management has revealed. This is one of the measures aimed at improving the safety and security of students, staff, and visitors to the university, which has had dozens of unmanned entrance and exit points for a very long time.
Although Makerere University had three official entry and exit points, including the Main, western, and Eastern gates, there were at least five other small gates around the University that are oftentimes unmanned and lacked lighting at night. These included; one located in Wandegeya near University Hall, the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources, and Biosecurity (COVAB), Western Gate that leads to Kikoni, the sports arena, and another one next to Makerere College School.
Besides these, the university also had several illicit pathways leading into and outside the main campus that were created by students and staff, allowing hundreds of individuals – including those with malicious intentions – to enter and exit the campus without undergoing any security checks.
Last year, Mary Stuart, one of the girls’ halls at Makerere University experienced a surge in cases of theft, prompting the University management to deploy a full-time armed guard to secure the premises. Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the University Vice- Chancellor told URN in an exclusive interview that the University has restricted its entry points to the Main Gate along Makerere Hill Road, Western Gate along Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road, and the Eastern Gate along Bombo Road.
Under the new design, the University will only have two pedestrian entry points, one situated in Wandegeya near University Hall and the other adjacent to the Rugby grounds in “Kikumi kikumi”.
In 2017, Makerere University Police Post released a four-year report that highlighted high cases of computer thefts. According to the report, between 2013 and 2016, at least 178 laptop computers were stolen from students and staff. Sixty-seven laptop computers were stolen in 2013, 49 in 2014, 32 in 2015, and 30 in 2016. Seventy-six mobile phones, 63 cases of burglary, and 52 cases of stolen car parts among others were registered in the same period.
All the cases were linked to the illegal entry points that characterize the University. Nawangwe acknowledged the security threats posed by intruders who frequently steal from students and staff and vandalize University property. He, however, expressed confidence that the restricted access measures being implemented through the new perimeter wall will effectively deter such nefarious activities.
The construction of the perimeter wall started way back in 2017. However, the project has been on and off due to limited resources. But Nawangwe said that the University secured all the required Shillings 7 billion for the project, which is expected to be accomplished in a month’s time.
Unlike the first phase which stretches from the Main gate along Makerere hill road up to Sir Apollo Kaggwa traffic lights and some parts of Bombo road that have metallic spikes fixed on top of the brick wall, the new design provides a higher barrier in some sensitive areas to protect students and staff.